Sunday’s Kansas City Star reports on an art exhibit that will raise eyebrows, especially those of the blogosphere’s Irish Elk. Cryptozoology describes the scientific or pseudo-scientific fascination with extinct or imaginary animals. Here are a few bits from the Star:
“Cryptozoology” keeps the viewer perpetually off balance, refusing to draw distinctions between fact and fiction. Many of the featured animals are total inventions, but you’d never know it from the serious, scientific way the artists portray them.
Some of the best fakes come from Brazilian-born Walmor Correa, who uses the conventions of scientific illustration to give conviction to his large paintings of creatures such as the half-man, half anteater “Capelobo” and the mermaid “Ondina.”
Minnesota Association of Rogue Taxidermy, whose members include Sarina Brewer and Robert Marbury. Brewer’s grimacing, fetuslike “Feejee Mermaid” and “Northwoods Chimera,” which looks like a three-headed turkey with the body of a cat, are created from dead animals, including roadkill and donations from veterinarians and museums. Marbury’s “Nardog”— imagine a sheepdog turned unicorn — is one of several fanciful critters made from stuffed rather than real animals.
A final query:
“Cryptozoology” poses a question: Could a renewed sense of nature’s wonder erode the domineering anthropocentrism that underlies our destructive, perhaps disastrous, relationship with the natural world?